{Gallivant Reads} The Circle Maker

Circle Maker.JPG

Reading is one of my most favorite things, but unfortunately my reading time decreased significantly in the second half of last year, and I sorely missed it. In my world there aren’t many things better or more restful than making a cup of tea and cozying up with a good book. Confession: I am the kind of nerdy reader who actually gets stressed when they look at their “to read” list on Goodreads. I love books so much that the thought of missing a good one totally stresses me out!

(Sidebar: Don’t have Goodreads? Get it! It’s a great way to keep track of books you would like to read, get reviews, and see what your friends are reading! Once you sign up let’s be friends! Search for Emily_Richey -- I’d love to see what you are reading!)

So this year I set a goal...to read 30 books. Between working full-time and having a social life outside of work, that number is intimidating, so to break it down I am aiming to read for 30 minutes everyday. So far I have been doing pretty well--my lunch break has definitely been my friend. 

I kicked off my challenge in January with a book that I have been meaning to read for forever--ever since one of my best friends raved about it in college.  As it turns out, I picked up The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson at exactly the right time, years later. This book radically invigorated and changed my prayer life at a time when it was, I’ll admit, a bit lacking. I was reminded me that our God is bigger than this universe He so lovingly created, and He wants us to pray big prayers, crazy prayers, visionary prayers, which is essentially the premise of the book. (If you'd like, you can read more about what I believe here.)

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

"Every once in awhile, I need a no-agenda day with nothing to do, but those aren’t the days we’re going to celebrate at the end of our lives. We won't remember the things that came easy; we’ll remember the things that came hard. We’ll remember the miracles on the far side of “long and boring.”

"Our minds are subconsciously primed by everything that is happening all the time. It’s a testament to the fact that our minds are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” It also testifies to the fact that we had better be good stewards of the things we allow into our visual and auditory cortices. Everything we see and hear is priming us in a positive or negative way. That’s one reason I believe in starting the day in God’s Word. It doesn’t just prime our minds; it also primes our hearts...When we read the words that the Holy Spirit inspired, it tunes us to His voice and primes us for His promptings."

"In case you missed the message the first time, if you keep trying, you are not failing. The only way you can fail is if you quit trying. If you’re still trying, even if you’re failing, you’re succeeding. God is honored when you don’t give up. God is honored when you keep trying. God is honored when you keep circling."

"Goal setting begins and ends with prayer. God-ordained goals are conceived in the context of prayer, and prayer is what brings them to full term."

I highly recommend The Circle Maker if you are looking for a good read, and you can find some other books I have enjoyed in the past here, here, here, here, here, and here

What about you? Have you been reading anything good recently? Although my "to read" list is long, I am definitely open to suggestions! Leave them in the comment box below. 

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click a link a buy something I may make a small commission. But, as usual, all opinions are my own. 

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{Gallivant Reads} Favorite Books of 2014

Favorite books of 2014 // The Gallivant

Happy Monday! One of my New Year goals, year after year, is to keep tackling books on my must-read list (which is both virtual, and perpetually piled next to my bed.) Anyone else feel the same way? I read an array of different books in 2014, of all sorts of genres and topics, both low-brow and high-brow, and compiled a list of some of my faves today.  If anyone is looking for a good read to dig into this week after work than definitely keep reading! 

1. The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick

Eleanor of Aquitaine was a force, especially for her day and age. Chadwick does a great job bringing her to life, while staying historically accurate. If you like historical fiction, you will love this. 

2. Mad About The Boy by Helen Fielding

Any Bridget Jones fans out there? 14 years later, Fielding has come through with a third installment to the series, and it was as hilarious as ever--despite a major twist. Bridg is my guilty pleasure, and I inhaled this in about three days, giggling all the way. Definitely a light read, but a witty one none-the-less.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

While some may call TFIOS Teen-lit, I say it's important, and shed's amazing perspective on what it is like to have a terminal illness. Read more about my thoughts here.

4. The Josephine B. Trilogy by Sandra Gulland

Loved this series. Read my review here. Thank you to my SIL for the great rec!

5. Atonement by Ian McEwan

I am a big McEwan fan, despite the fact that it has taken me so long to read one of his better known books. It's a little dreary and tortured, but so beautifully written. 

6. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Looking for wonky family dynamics (aka relatable) and laughs? This is it. 

7. The Vacationers by Emma Straub

A bit cynical (such is the world,) but set in the lovely setting of Mallorca, and packing some fun plot twists and turns as a family processes their individual personal crises while on vacation. 

8. On Writing by Stephen King

This book is a must for any kind of creative, not just writers. So Good. Read more here

Ready to get your read on?  Go ahead and click on any of the title links to go straight to Amazon and either buy the hard copy or download the kindle version to get immediately stuck in! Also, if you are/have read anything great recently than let us know in the comments! Currently I am addicted to the Outlander series, but next on my list is Where'd You Go, Bernadette. Have you read it? What did you think?

Cheers!

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!